Trey Gowdy Contradicts Colleagues; Says Russia Wanted to Assist Donald Trump and Harm Hillary Clinton

Rep. Trey Gowdy, who recently announced that he would not seek reelection after an inglorious Congressional tenure that included overseeing the Benghazi witch hunt, during which Hillary Clinton was grilled for 11 hours and which cost taxpayers nearly $8 million, has publicly broken with his Republican colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee, saying that there is, in fact, evidence that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to assist Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton.

I don't want to give Gowdy too much credit for merely stating the manifestly obvious, but what is even happening? The only thing more surprising would be if Devin Nunes, for whom Gowdy took over leadership of the investigation when Nunes was obliged to recuse himself, had said this.

Kevin Breuninger at NBC News reports:
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on Tuesday contradicted his own GOP-led committee's findings in its probe of Russian meddling during the 2016 U.S. election.

In a statement, Gowdy said it was "clear, based on the evidence, Russia had disdain for Secretary Clinton and was motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her Presidency had she prevailed."

The statement from Gowdy, who is not seeking re-election at the end of his current term, cuts against conclusions announced Monday by the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee.

...Gowdy said Russia's attempts to divide Americans are "crystal clear."

"Russia's ultimate goal was to turn Americans against Americans, undercut our confidence in the electoral process, and sow the seeds of discord," he said. "On that measure, we are in direct control — as Americans — of whether they succeed or not."
I don't know what's going on with Gowdy — and whatever it is, it's far too little far too late, to be frank; he owns this fuckery as much as any sitting Republican and more than many — but whether he's got a guilty conscience or some insight into how compromised his party has become or wants to retain the appearance of integrity before getting a cushy lobbying job or a federal judgeship, perhaps his position in this particular instance has something to do with this: "Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, is the only Republican on the committee who read the underlying surveillance court documents from which the GOP memo was drawn."

I doubt his colleagues would have been persuaded if they had read them, but the fact that they didn't even bother is very telling indeed.

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